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Supreme Court could give landmark ruling on public prayer
cna ^ | May 22, 2013 | Kevin J. Jones

Posted on 05/22/2013 6:21:31 AM PDT by NYer

First Prayer in Congress, September 1774, in Carpenters Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Washington D.C., May 22, 2013 / 12:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a move that could have national consequences for prayer in public life, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a federal case challenging the constitutionality of opening prayers at the town council meetings of Greece, New York.

“It is perfectly constitutional to allow community members to ask for God's blessing according to their conscience,” Brett Harvey, Senior Counsel with the Alliance Defending Freedom, told CNA May 21.

“A Supreme Court ruling reaffirming this historic tradition and making clear that prayer givers are permitted to pray consistent with the dictates of their own conscience would both uphold the original understanding of the Constitution and provide needed clarity to put an end to these attacks on our American heritage.”

Greece is a Rochester suburb with 90,000 people. The Alliance Defending Freedom is supporting the town’s defense against two plaintiffs, Susan Galloway and Linda Stephens.

The two claim that the public prayers which open local town council meetings unconstitutionally privilege Christianity. Since the prayers began in 1999, they objected, almost all of those who delivered prayers have been Christians.

Non-Christians who have delivered prayers include a Jewish layperson, a local Baha'i leader, a Wiccan priestess and an atheist.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against the town. Judge Guido Calabresi, who authored the opinion, said that although the town allows anyone to volunteer it did not solicit volunteers or inform the general public that volunteers would be considered or accepted.

He emphasized that the court did not say that government bodies can never open a session with prayer, Reuters reports.

Rev. Barry Lynn, a United Church of Christ minister who heads the group Americans United for Separation of Church and State, opposed the prayers. He said that a town council meeting is not a church service and “shouldn’t seem like one.”

Harvey, however, said the case “defends a historic practice of opening public meetings by seeking divine guidance.” He added that the Supreme Court has ruled public prayer a part of the “history and tradition” of the United States.

“The founders prayed while drafting our constitution’s Bill of Rights,” he said. “America continues this cherished practice, and a few people should not be able to extinguish the traditions of our nation merely because they heard something they didn’t like.”

Harvey said there have been 20 different federal lawsuits filed against local governments asking that they abandon their traditions of prayer.

“A ruling against the Town of Greece would multiply the attacks on the historic practice of seeking divine guidance at public meetings and would suggest that the authors of the Bill of Rights were violating the Constitution, even as they were writing it,” he said.

A decision on the case will likely take place during the court’s next term, which lasts from October 2013 to June 2014.


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Prayer; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: ny; scotus

1 posted on 05/22/2013 6:21:31 AM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...

Slippery slope, ping! If this passes, expect more stringent rulings to follow, such as religious processions. etc.


2 posted on 05/22/2013 6:22:27 AM PDT by NYer (“To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possibl)
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“Non-Christians who have delivered prayers include a Jewish layperson, a local Baha’i leader, a Wiccan priestess and an atheist.”

An ATHEIST prayer??


3 posted on 05/22/2013 6:26:21 AM PDT by Arkansas Toothpick
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To: NYer
I've lived in the Town of Greece for 40+ years. Great place to raise a family ... although we are currently suffering from an invasion of the Section 8 types.
We're pushing back and I think we'll be fine in the long run.
4 posted on 05/22/2013 6:33:25 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: NYer
This is happening in my area. The head of the Town Board said....We aren't establishing a religion...and we invite people to do the prayer.

The prayer at the meeting actually reveals the intention of the amendment. The antagonist is just another religious rival....in other words...there is more than one religion...and if you silence one...you MUST silence both.

5 posted on 05/22/2013 6:33:46 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: NYer

We are in a spiritual battle for the soul of America. Now is the time for all believers to pray for our nation to turn to GOD.

BIBLE PROMISES FOR AMERICA

“Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your hearts, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your GOD, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and He relents from sending calamity. Joel 2:12-13

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 1 Timothy 2:1-2

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:15

Blessed is the nation whose GOD is the LORD. Psalm 32:12
May YOUR unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in YOU. Psalm 33:22
If MY people, who are called by MY name, will humble themselves and pray and seek MY face and change their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive them and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. Proverbs 14:34

For those who honor ME, I will honor, and those who despise ME shall be lightly esteemed. 1 Samuel 2:30b

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Matthew 5:12-15

Hear my voice when I call, O LORD, have mercy on me and answer. YOU have said, “Seek my face,” and my heart says to YOU, “YOUR presence, O LORD, I seek.” Psalm 27: 7-8

The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. Psalm 35:17-19

May YOUR unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in YOU. Psalm 33:22


6 posted on 05/22/2013 6:34:29 AM PDT by stars & stripes forever ((Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord!))
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To: NYer
Non-Christians who have delivered prayers include...an atheist.

"Dear non-existent Supreme Being..."

7 posted on 05/22/2013 6:35:24 AM PDT by Colonel_Flagg (Blather. Reince. Repeat.)
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To: NYer

When we began, Town meeting were held IN THE CHURCHES or in the saloons!!


8 posted on 05/22/2013 6:35:36 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: All

Re: Atheists...John Adams said it best...”That’s their problem”.


9 posted on 05/22/2013 6:36:51 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: NYer

10 posted on 05/22/2013 6:36:54 AM PDT by ErnBatavia (Piffle....)
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To: NYer
Teachers in Oklahoma school attacked by Monday's tornado, admit to praying out loud as they were sheltering small children with their own bodies.
11 posted on 05/22/2013 6:47:02 AM PDT by Coldwater Creek (He who dwells in thee shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadows of the Almighty Psalm 91:)
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To: NYer
A religious procession ~ to wit: a pardon ~ has almost always required the approval of the local authorities almost anywhere in Europe.

Italian hill towns usually have at least one such procession per year ~ with band, priest, etc. ~ and you can watch videos of these parades on the internet.

The mafia continues to dispatch 'soldiers' to these processions lest the crowd get out of hand and speak evil things of the mafia. They, too, show up in the videos. However, at least once a year the town council grows a pair and authorizes a religious procession which the criminal class (read that as atheists, murderers, thieves and commies) allows.

Religious processions in the US simply haven't been as common. We also haven't had until recently a reason to go up in the face of the domestic criminal class, but now that it includes the Obama Regime we probably ought to get with it!

12 posted on 05/22/2013 6:48:13 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: NYer
I find the illustration included with the article interesting. In it, we see the members of Congress in various attitudes of prayer. Some are standing with head bowed, some are kneeling, some are sitting--reflecting the pluralistic nature of the group.

Am I correct? Is there one guy with his back to the minister with his hands covering his ears?

13 posted on 05/22/2013 6:49:54 AM PDT by Oratam
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To: NYer

If you wanted to ensure that the US was imposed with Islam, what would you do?


14 posted on 05/22/2013 7:02:04 AM PDT by combat_boots (The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spiritui Sancto!)
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To: Oratam

I think that man is leaning on a support in front of him, and his hands are over his face. That’s the curls of his wig over his ears.

Our Founders were tough guys: listening to opinions or sentiments different from their own didn’t cause them to fall to pieces and run to Mommy.


15 posted on 05/22/2013 7:16:00 AM PDT by Tax-chick (The Commie Plot Theory of Everything. Give it a try - you'll be surprised how often it makes sense.)
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To: Tax-chick

true, so unlike the populace, in general.


16 posted on 05/22/2013 7:25:03 AM PDT by skinkinthegrass (who'll take tomorrow,$pend it all today;who can take your income & tax it all away..0'Blowfly can :-)
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To: Arkansas Toothpick

“An ATHEIST prayer??”

What do they pray to?


17 posted on 05/22/2013 7:26:32 AM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: skinkinthegrass

They cared enough about their differences to fight over them - verbally and physically - but they weren’t paralyzed by the very existence of people who disagreed, nor emotionally traumatized by the simple expression of contrary beliefs.

Anyone who really does react that way would simply be driven from public spaces or washed out of the gene pool, if they weren’t useful to the Communists as a distraction from real knowledge and debate of issues.


18 posted on 05/22/2013 7:41:21 AM PDT by Tax-chick (The Commie Plot Theory of Everything. Give it a try - you'll be surprised how often it makes sense.)
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To: Oratam

no the back of his left hand is over his eyes, and he has a halo of hair on the back of his head which almost merges with the left hand to make it appear that way. Overall your assessment is correct on the pluralistic nature of the group.


19 posted on 05/22/2013 7:51:59 AM PDT by reed13k (For evil to triumph it is only necessary for good men to do nothing.)
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To: reed13k; Tax-chick

Thank you both!


20 posted on 05/22/2013 8:03:01 AM PDT by Oratam
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To: Tax-chick
perhaps, I should have included..."modern".

21 posted on 05/22/2013 9:47:11 AM PDT by skinkinthegrass (who'll take tomorrow,$pend it all today;who can take your income & tax it all away..0'Blowfly can :-)
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To: NYer

I heard a neat story from a member of our prayer group last night. She is a librarian at a middle school in a nearby public school district. One day last week, a group of kids were in the library when one of them looked around and said, “Hey, we’re all Christians here, aren’t we?” It turns out they were, so they gathered in a circle and prayed the Our Father.


22 posted on 05/22/2013 10:08:52 AM PDT by rwa265
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To: NYer
Non-Christians who have delivered prayers include a Jewish layperson, a local Baha'i leader, a Wiccan priestess and an atheist.

So...what did the atheist do? Stand there and be silent for two minutes?

23 posted on 05/22/2013 10:12:18 AM PDT by 0.E.O
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To: skinkinthegrass

I figured that was what you meant.


24 posted on 05/22/2013 11:17:00 AM PDT by Tax-chick (The Commie Plot Theory of Everything. Give it a try - you'll be surprised how often it makes sense.)
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To: NYer; Lurking Libertarian; JDW11235; Clairity; TheOldLady; Spacetrucker; Art in Idaho; GregNH; ...

FReepmail me to subscribe to or unsubscribe from the SCOTUS ping list.

25 posted on 05/29/2013 6:27:18 AM PDT by BuckeyeTexan (There are those that break and bend. I'm the other kind. ~Steve Earle)
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To: BuckeyeTexan; NYer

Thanks for the ping, BT.

I used to live in Greece, and there were a lot of fruit-cakes living there - seems they’re still there!

As noted, other than strictly Christian leaders have provided opening ‘prayers’, so that point doesn’t hold water. Note also - in the picture NYer shows above, some are kneeling, others standing, and some seated - all in contemplation in their own way. I hope the USSC smacks down the 2nd USCCA!


26 posted on 05/29/2013 9:51:50 AM PDT by brityank (The more I learn about the Constitution, the more I realise this Government is UNconstitutional !!)
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To: NYer

BTTT!


27 posted on 05/29/2013 9:22:27 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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